Obama goes on the road to stump for tax plan

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WASHINGTON -- The White House is continuing its campaign-style push to galvanize public support for an administration plan to hold the line on taxes for the middle class while increasing them for the wealthy.

As President Barack Obama prepares to stump for his plan near Philadelphia Friday, the White House issued a new report showing how Pennsylvania residents and retailers would be harmed if Congress doesn't support the proposal.

The president's plan is meant to avoid $600 billion in automatic spending cuts and tax increases that have become known as the fiscal cliff.

One expiring tax cut would raise taxes by $2,200 for a family of four earning the state's median income of $80,400. That could translate into a nearly $8.6 billion decline in annual spending in Pennsylvania in 2013, according to the White House report by the National Economic Council and the Council of Economic Advisers.

Such a sharp rise in taxes could reduce consumption and slow the growth of gross domestic product by as much as 1.6 percentage points in Pennsylvania, according to the report.

Meanwhile, only two percent of Pennsylvania families -- those with incomes above $250,000 -- would see their taxes increase under the president's plan, according to the administration.

Some Republicans who were once opposed to raising taxes on the wealthy have now said they might consider it but they have suggested higher income thresholds.

"President Obama is committed to growing our economy from the middle out by ensuring a strong, secure and thriving middle class," according to a White House statement. "There is no reason to hold the middle-class families in Pennsylvania hostage while we debate tax cuts for the highest income earners."

The president is taking that message to toy manufacturer Rodon Group in Montgomery County Friday. The aim is to draw attention to how the expiration of tax breaks would hurt manufacturers.

nation - state

Washington Bureau Chief Tracie Mauriello: tmauriello@post-gazette.com or 703-996-9292.


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